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Volume 31 , Issue 2
March/April 2011

Pages 125-131


Thickness of the Anterior Maxillary Facial Bone Wall—A Retrospective Radiographic Study Using Cone Beam Computed Tomography

Vedrana Braut, DDS, Dr Med Dent/Michael M. Bornstein, PD Dr Med Dent/Urs Belser, Prof Dr Med Dent/Daniel Buser, Prof Dr Med Dent


PMID: 21491011
DOI: 10.11607/prd.00.0966

The purpose of this retrospective radiographic study was to analyze the thickness of the facial bone wall at teeth in the anterior maxilla based on cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images, since this anatomical structure is important for the selection of an appropriate treatment approach in patients undergoing postextraction implant placement. A total of 125 CBCT scans met the inclusion criteria, resulting in a sample size of 498 teeth. The thickness of the facial bone wall in the respective sagittal scans was measured perpendicular to the long axis of the tooth at two locations: at the crest level (4 mm apical to the cementoenamel junction; MP1) and at the middle of the root (MP2). No existing bone wall was found in 25.7% of all teeth at MP1 and in 10.0% at MP2. The majority of the examined teeth exhibited a thin facial bone wall (< 1 mm; 62.9% at MP1, 80.1% at MP2). A thick bone wall (≥ 1 mm) was found in only 11.4% of all examined teeth at MP1 and 9.8% at MP2. There was a statistically significant decrease in facial bone wall thickness from the first premolars to the central incisors. The facial bone wall in the crestal area of teeth in the anterior maxilla was either missing or thin in roughly 90.0% of patients. Both a missing and thin facial wall require simultaneous contour augmentation at implant placement because of the well-documented bone resorption that occurs at a thin facial bone wall following tooth extraction. Consequently, radiographic analysis of the facial bone wall using CBCT prior to extraction is recommended for selection of the appropriate treatment approach. (Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2011;31:125–131.)


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